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Jenny Floravita Canvas Primer A12114611

Priming the 9′x12′ canvas

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Primer, also commonly referred to as Gesso, is fundamental to an oil painting. It provides the ground for the paint to stick to the surface. Priming a canvas requires several coats of thin layers of primer.

What is an artist primer? For those of you who are unfamiliar with artist terms, Wikipedia explains the concept of Gesso best. You can read more about the difference types of gessos here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gesso#Acrylic_gesso

The first layer goes on slower than the subsequent layers because it has to get into all of the micro-fiber grooves of the canvas. This is a large surface so I am applying the primer much in the same way that one would paint an interior wall. Again, this first layer is very thin and meticulously applied. I’ve opened all of my surrounding windows for ventilation. Fans can and will be used to push air through the space, to ventilate and help protect me from some of the toxicity that I will be exposed to through the entire process of this piece.

As the primer dries the canvas tightens up and all of the remaining creases disappear, leaving behind a perfect surface in which to begin my oil mural.

The picture of me standing in front of the canvas gives a good size reference.

Tropical Flower Mural Canvas Up A12014481

Canvas is up, ready to be primed

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Warning: this is an anti-mini painting…contrary to the name of my painting blog which has chronicled my Mini Master island paintings since 2006, both here and on my former Blogger blog.

This is the next step. The canvas is up and is ready to be primed. Pinning the canvas to the wall was a two-person job and my husband was of great help! Our goal was to get the canvas as tight as possible. Primer, which I will explain in my next post will help to further tighten the canvas, creating a smooth surface in which to paint.

I awoke this morning, very aware of how much work and commitment I have in this project. This is a painting for an interior design showcase that is also a fundraiser and of course will take a tremendous amount of time away from my personal business of creating custom reverse painted glass chandeliers and my ‘regular’ tropical island and flower oil and watercolor paintings. A lot of my work right now is commission based. Technically I’m in the middle of 5 different commissions for my painted chandeliers. I will have to structure and use my time well in the next month!

The round objects with bubble wrap on my floor are actually chandelier bowls that are painted on the inside…and you can see that paintings leaning on my grand piano aren’t small either though they are by no means as large as this mural will be.

My approach on this painting will be to work intensively every day until finished.

Figuring Tropical Flower Mural Canvas A12014441

The Making of an Oil Mural

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Warning: this is an anti-mini painting…contrary to the name of my painting blog which has chronicled my Mini Master island paintings since 2006, both here and on my former Blogger blog.

I’d like to share the process of creating a large Oil Mural. This will be an intense and large project and will consume a very big part of the next few weeks of my work. Unlike most murals—which are done with house paints, acrylics and on walls—this is an actual oil painting on canvas. I’ve chosen this way to work because I am most comfortable and fluent in oil painting and I prefer the way oil moves on canvas. Oil takes longer to dry so I’ve planned for that in my time-frame.

My downstairs studio gallery has two large walls and I choose the one wall that would give my eye access to looking outside as my preference is to work and be able to see through a space to nature. All of my home studio work spaces, including my office are designed with this in mind. Though this isn’t my largest wall, it will do.

The rough size of this mural is 9′x12′. Artists, you can purchase a large canvas like this through www.dickblick.com The canvas has been cut to size and will be ironed to take out the creases. Upon looking at the size of this canvas, I think I’ll have to order more primer!

Waimea Plantation Cottage painting by artist Jenny Floravita

Painting Paradise in Oil, Waimea Plantation Cottages, Kauai art

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Waimea Plantation Cottage painting by artist Jenny FloravitaPainting paradise in oil is what I do best. Here is yet another painting in my series about the Waimea Plantation Cottages. It is a small oil painting. Most of these small oils sell through my spring and summer art festivals in California. They remind my collectors of their homes in the islands and of their travels.

I love the movement and gesture of the palms as they sway in the wind. I love the mature bamboo groves and the lush gardens that swell with heliconias, gingers, hibiscus, plumeria and bananas, to name a few.

I love the stories behind these little cottages. I love how my brushes will allow for a lose style when I paint these small island cottages.

If any of you have stayed in these little gems, feel free to share your stories through comments.

JuliH FlowerWall

Lovely Tropical Flowers Grace Collector’s Dining Room Wall

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Tropical Flower oil paintings by artist Jenny Floravita

Tropical Flower oil paintings by artist Jenny Floravita

This is a beautiful example of how to space three, tall slender paintings on a long wall. The dimensions for each of these oil paintings is 18″36″.

Kauai Waimea Plantation Cottage Art 6 111

Life in the Islands, waimea plantation cottage, Kauai island

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Life in the Tropics, an oil painting by Jenny Floravita

This is the time of year where I try to assess when I’d like for my body of work to go. This next year, starting with the fall season, I think I will be honing in on: tropical flowers, island cottage paintings inspired by the Waimea Plantation Cottages and perhaps coastal California scenes.

As a working artist I often feel torn within the different bodies of work that I create. All have a similar theme, being the good life that is represented by life in the islands. Working in both oil and watercolor also presents challenges in terms of picking with medium to focus a body of work within…not to mention my hand created, reverse painted glass chandeliers which require a tremendous amount of work.

The painting above is another one of my Walmea Plantation Cottage paintings and it is titled Life in the Islands. If I do a series based on these small island cottage paintings then the works will be larger.

Kauai Waimea Plantation Art 5 111

Waimea Plantation Cottage painting titled “Blue Island Home”

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Kauai-waimea-plantation-art-5-11

Mini Master oil painting by artist Jenny Floravita

I wanted to give a thumbs up to all of the great paintings that are showcased every day on Micah Condon’s Dailypainters.com website. I’ve been priveledged to be part of this group from the very near beginning, being 2006. Some of my favorite artists are Hall Groat II at http://www.hgroatii.blogspot.com and Lori McNamara at http://lorisart.blogspot.com and my personal art festival friend, Nancy Eckels at http://www.nancyeckels.com, just to name a few…

The painting featured here is another one of my signature Kauai, Waimea Plantation Cottage paintings that have been so well collected. I never tire of painting these small island homes—they represent a piece of the good life!

Kauai Beach Painting 3 111

Getting Ready for La Jolla Art Festival!

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oil painting by artist Jenny Floravita

This will be my third year exhibiting at the La Jolla Art Festival and I’m excited to make the nine hour drive down to San Diego. I love this show because it’s fun to visit Southern California. I feel right at home in the sun and the warmth. I love the palm trees that are so plentiful. La Jolla Art Festival is also a very appropriate place for both my reverse painted chandeliers and my tropical oil and watercolor paintings.

This is one of the few shows where I feel like I’m really developing a new following for my island paintings.

The above painting is from my Mini Master series and is a 6″x6″ oil titled Mid Morning Beach. It’s a very textured painting and is very lovely in person. I’d be surprised if I still have this piece when I return from La Jolla next week.

Commissioned Island Cottage painting by Jenny Floravita

Real Estate in Hawaii

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Commissioned Island Cottage painting by Jenny FloravitaReal estate in Hawaii may not be very affordable but you can still have an island memory in a small vignette painting. This small Hawaiian island cottage painting was one of four island cottage vignettes commissioned by a Real Estate agent in Silicon Valley (California).

Palm trees and bamboo sway above quaint tin red roofs. Blue sky peeks out of clouds who’s substance seems unique and special in the islands. I know that when I’m on Kauai the clouds seem like no other.

My small island plantation cottage paintings have been very popular and are collected at all of my art festivals. I believe that the subject connects with island loving people in a very special way and I never tire of paintings these small home portraits. They are a nice little slice of island life that lives and thrives well on the mainland.

Mini Master oil by Jenny Floravita

What became of ‘A Painting A Day’

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Mini Master oil by Jenny FloravitaI am one of the original painters that joined into the Painting A Day aka Daily Painting movement several years ago. The basic concept of this movement was based on creating one small work each day and then selling the painting on the web for $100. Most paintings from this era were 6″x6″ or 6″x8″ and most artists focused selling on eBay. Many of the original artists were realists who worked in oil. Art Calendar Magazine published an article about this movement and it caught on like a wildfire.

I was lucky enough to be picked up by the original Daily Painters website in  2006 which is now extremely hard to jury into and I was very faithful to this movement for a long time. Few painters from this movement still produce a small painting each and every day though if you are looking for the faithful the Daily Painters website is where you will find them. I used this movement as a way to provide my collectors with small affordable island paintings. In return I found myself exploring more subjects than normal and I also found that I love to paint both very large paintings and very small paintings.

Painting small is an art in itself. I still produce up to 100 small tropical island and tropical flower paintings each year. They serve as the studies for my large works and they also allow an additional outlet for me to explore my passion for painting. My collectors have loved these paintings dearly. I sell most of my Mini Master Island Vignette paintings through my art festivals.

Why do I no longer produce small paintings each and every day? As a working artist I find that it is difficult to stay true to this movement because most of my significant sales come from my large scale paintings and my reverse painted chandeliers. I love to create small island paintings and do so when I travel and when I am inspired. If you would like to see my original Mini Master Painting Blog, go here to see my small paintings dating back to 2006: http://www.jennyfloravita.blogspot.com

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